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15 Mar 2021 | 17:28

Europe close: Stocks end mixed despite gains for Travel and Leisure issues

(Sharecast News) - European shares finished on a mixed note on Monday, with hopes of a swift economic recovery and calmer bond markets vying with negative and negative headlines around vaccination efforts on the Continent and similarly mixed economic data in China, according to traders.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the session exactly flat at 423.08, while the German Dax dipped 0.28% to 14,461.42.

Milan's FTSE Mibtel on the other hand edged up 0.11% to 24,139.45.

"The day has turned from small gains to losses, as markets hit what can best be described as an 'air pocket' i.e. a sudden outbreak of volatility on little actual news," IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said.

"All seemed to be going well for risk, with bond yields dropping back, but it looks like the uninterrupted march higher of the past week has finally hit a wall."

Beauchamp also pointed the finger at news that various EU countries had temporarily halted innoculations with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine as the chief reason behind soft share prices.

Nevertheless, Travel and Leisure stocks on the Stoxx 600 jumped 2.38%, while Basic Resources firms fell 1.49%.

Weighing on the latter, a raft of economic data released overnight in China initially left some economists scratching their heads after Beijing modified the methodology used for the closely-followed figures.

In particular, figures for Chinese fixed asset investment year-to-date printed below forecasts, although industrial production and retail sales were better-than-expected.

To take note of as well, Pfizer was expected to make up for part of the shortfall in AstraZeneca vaccine deliveries in the first quarter.

In stock specific news, shares in Danone jumped 2.9% after the company's board ousted Emmanuel Faber as its chairman and chief executive due to growing pressure from shareholders.

Flutter Entertainment was up 6.8% as the company confirmed it was mulling a spinoff for its FanDuel unit in the US as it looked to cash in on the growing liberalisation of mobile betting in America.

Shares in carmaker Stellantis gained 7.6% after Deutsche Bank started coverage with a 'buy' rating.

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